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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Friday, May 15

God’s mercy endures forever.
—Psalm 118:1

“Lord, have mercy,” my grandmother used to say. She said it frequently, as a way of invoking God’s presence when confronted with a situation that was difficult, painful or provoking. Lord, have mercy.

She said it often enough that I knew that she had tasted that mercy. I never asked her about the specifics; her willingness to be merciful was sufficient evidence. She housed my cousins when they were at odds with their parents. She quietly went about the business of treating people with respect, and being kind to those in need. She embodied mercy.

The only way most of us know that mercy is possible is to encounter a merciful presence when we need it. It’s a quality not much valued in a highly competitive marketplace. Yet mercy holds human community together. When mercy is present, spite and malice go by the wayside. When mercy walks into the room, something new can happen.

Every single day we are offered opportunities to express mercy, or not. Mercy steps beyond what is required, what is expected, what is conditioned. Mercy surprises us; we open to the possibility of God’s hidden presence in every moment, every time.

May I know God’s mercy this day, and extend that mercy through my own living. Amen.

The Signposts for May originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.